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March 11, 2014

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – The top-ranked University of South Carolina equestrian team announced the signing of western rider Paisley Roberts (Plain City, Ohio/Jonathan Alder High School) to a National Letter of Intent to join the Gamecocks for the 2014-2015 season. Roberts, who has experience in both reining and horsemanship, is expected to compete in reining while at Carolina.

“We’re really excited to have another talented rider from Ohio join us for next season,” South Carolina head coach Boo Major said. “Paisley has a reputation for being an extremely hard worker, and that’s the type of work ethic we like to see out of our kids. Her success in the IEA shows the type of rider she is, and we think she’s going to be a great addition to our program.”

Paisley trains with NRHA trainer Brandon Brant and IEA trainers Ollie and Debbie Griffith.

Paisley will join the Gamecocks next fall with an impressive youth career resume. Last year, she was the Ohio Valley Reining Horse Association Youth 14-18 Champion, and she also won the Derby Non Pro Level 1 Championship on Wimpy’s Little Step. Roberts also was the 2013 Ohio Valley Reining Horse Association Youth Weekend Champion. In 2012, she earned a top-15 finish at the All American Quarter Horse Congress in NRHA 14-18 Youth Reining, while also finishing in the top-10 at the NRHA Derby in the 14-18 Youth category. Roberts was the Reserve Ohio State Reining Champion, and she also was the Ohio Valley Reining Horse Association Rookie Youth Champion and the Youth Weekend Champion.

Roberts has enjoyed a successful career in the Interscholastic Equestrian Association, which is the league that hosts middle and high school competitions. In 2013, she was an Open Varsity Reining Regional qualifier, and before that, she was a Zone 5 qualifier for five straight years and advanced to the IEA National Finals in four of those years. In 2010, she won a pair of championships as the IEA Zone 5 Finals in individual horsemanship and team reining. At the 2010 IEA Nationals, she finished third in the individual horsemanship and was on the reining team that finished fifth.

A senior at Jonathan Alder High School in Plain City Ohio, Roberts is a member of the National Honors Society has maintained a 3.5 GPA throughout her entire career. She has made the honor roll each year and is a two-time Student of the Month award winner. During her junior year, Roberts was nominated for the All-American Scholars Program.

Roberts’ parents are Thad and Theresa Roberts, and she has an older brother, Ory.

Roberts plans to be a nursing major while at South Carolina. She chose the Gamecocks over Baylor and Auburn.